Category: Weird Work Files

So I’m walking into the break room to eat my delicious sandwich while reading a manga and ignoring the world, when I happen to overhear my young coirker talking on her cell phone. It only took one sentence to grab my attention – “Mom, how do I cut up a peach?”

This girl is twenty-one years old and she had a whole peach and a knife in front of her. (Before anyone asks; yes, she is the same one who made her boyfriend buy her two purses whe she found the Sports Illustrated app on his phone.) This wasn’t some hybrid peach that would bite her fingers off if she approached it wrong – it was a frickin’ peach.

Like so.

How in the blinking blue blazes has she managed to go this long without cutting up her own food? It wasn’t even something difficult, like deboning a haddock or baking a cake from scratch – it’s frickin’ fruit and she had a frickin’ knife – our distant simian ancestors managed the trick with a sharp rock and a fraction of our brainpower.


Like a lot of financial institutions, [ghostbank] has started using radio frequency identification (RFID) chips in debit and credit cards. It’s a pretty new technology for us and not all of our customers are sure what the chips are actually supposed to do. Earlier this week I recieved a call that just confused the hell out of me.

I answered the phone and the customer wants to track down her card. At first I assume she means that she ordered a card and wants to know when it will arrive, so I ask her when it was ordered.

Customer – I lost it last Tuesday.

Me – So you cancelled the old card and ordered a new one on Tuesday?

Customer – I never ordered a new one, I just want to find my card.

Me – :pause: Did you want to go ahead and cancel the old card and order a new one?

Customer – :big “You’re an idiot” sigh: No, I don’t need a new card. I want you to find MINE.

Me – Do you mean you want to know if the card has been used anywhere since you lost it?

Customer – NO! I already know it hasn’t been used because I called [other ghostbank location]. I just want you to get me my card!

Me – :silently curses other location: I don’t really understand what it is you want me to do, ma’am.

Customer – :another big sigh: Listen to me; I have a [ghostbank] card, okay? And I want you to find it.

Me – :realization dawns: You want me to physically locate where the card is right now?

Customer – Yes! God, is it so hard to understand English? Find. My. Card!

Me – Ma’am, I’m not able to do that. If your card is used at a location I could tell you when and where it was used, but I  can’t tell you where it is at any given moment.

Customer – But it has one of those chips in it. You can just … scan for it.

Me – :pause: Ma’am, that’s not how the RFID chip works. It’s just for …

Customer – :interrupts: Yes it is, I saw it on TV. Just call your satellites and find where my card is. You know, triangle the signal or whatever it is you do.

Me – :repressing urge to scream: Ma’am, that is not how it works.

Things sort of went downhill from there and I really started wishing I could locate her damn card with a satellite and target a laser to melt the damned thing.

Gotta Go

My boss is pretty easy-going, all things considered. Yes, we have a lot of rules and regulations we have to follow but personally he allows quite a bit of slack and goofing off.

So one day we replaced his office chair with a pink toilet.


It was part of our local American Cancer Society’s program called “Flush Out Cancer” – for a ten dollar donation they would come and remove the toilet and take it to another person, who would pay to have it taken to another person, and so forth. This particular toilet came courtesy of the same ex-coirker who received a sandwich in the mail.

Have a seat for charity!

So guess what day our Internal Audit department came by to do our annual branch-wide audit?

If you guessed “The day you replaced your boss’s chair with a hot pink toilet” then you get a gold star.



I’m putting this under Weird Work Files even though it’s not technically a work-thing, but it’s funny.

You’ll see.

Several years ago one of my coirkers – now an ex-coirker who manages another branch of [ghostbank] – was playing golf one weekend with some of his friends. Gambling was involved. Coirker scored a touchdown or whatever it is makes you win in golf and collected his winnings – twenty dollars each – from most of his friends. One of these friends did not have any cash (I guess he hadn’t planned on losing) so my coirker told him he could just send it to him. He also made a joking off-hand remark that he would just charge him a lunch as interest.

As I have mentioned previously, I sort the mail when it comes in. One day not long after this game my coirker received a small flat-rate box that was surprisingly heavy and made odd rattling noises. I took it back to his office and lingered long enough to see what he had received.

The box contained the following:

  • Ten rolls of nickels, each worth $2.
  • The remains of a bologna sandwich in a plastic bag.
  • Shards of pulverized potato chips in another plastic bag.
  • Three quarters taped to an index card that had “FOR A SODA” printed on it.

His friend had not only paid him back, he had even paid the interest and sent him a lunch, which was a bit worse for wear after traveling through the postal system in a box containing ten rolls of nickels.

I have no idea who this friend was, but I admire his style.


*TANSTAAFL is an acronym coined by my favorite author Robert Heinlein, it stands for “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.”

Last Friday during my lunch hour, I had a small mole removed from the upper thigh/lower ass region area of my person. Everything went well, but I now have a small sore spot in the place where my mole once was.

Being me, I decided to name this sore place after the first person who ticked me off on Monday. It didn’t take long.

Tiny pain in my ass, I dub thee “Patrick”.

The original Patrick came into [ghostbank] Monday morning trying to cash a counter check drawn off of another institution. This is against [ghostbank] policy, since counter checks are among the most easily forged items out there.

The drive-thru teller told him “No.”

Three inside tellers, including the Teller Supervisor and Teller Manager, told him “No.”

I told him “No.” He also tried to get me to talk to someone on his cell phone so they could tell me that the check was good, but I refused to do so. I have no idea where that phone has been or who has used it and talking to a stranger on a cell phone isn’t going to change bank policy.

The representative he insisted on signing in to see after this also said “No.”

Our VP said “No.”

He left in a huff and came back late in the afternoon and tried to do it all over again with the same check, after everyone had told him to either take it to the bank it was drawn off of or contact whomever had written it to him and have them write a non-counter check to him.

I now have the urge to bounce a little in my seat to crush Patrick flat, but he’s still a little tender.

You Want Me to What?

One of my coirkers that I share my lunchtime with just turned twenty-one. I’ve had to hear about this for several months leading up to the actual birthday, and even afterwards. She is primarily concerned with the fact that her steady boyfriend has not proposed to her yet. They have discussed it and have even looked at rings and are in the process of looking at houses.

But he hasn’t actually asked her yet.

This is all from conversations I’ve overheard, I spend most of my lunch reading but she has one of those voices that carries. Despite all this fella has done for her, she’s getting progressively antsy that he hasn’t actually proposed. I got fed up the other day and finally asked her why she didn’t just propose to him.

She looked at me like I was insane.

“I can’t do that! It’s not right.”

I’m sorry, what century are we living in?

When I asked her why she couldn’t, she gave a sniff and told me it was against her religion.

Again, what century are we living in?  Where is it written in any religious text that you must have a penis to propose marriage?


Next Window Please

It’s time again for Weird Work Files – and today I have visual aides!

Like just about any bank these days, [ghostbank] has a drive-thru window – the kind where there are pneumatic tubes that pass back-and-forth from inside to the outside.

It’s normal for people to drive off with the tubes from time to time – people in a hurry will sit the tube down inside the car and just drive off. We have extras just for that reason. Occasionally someone who has driven off with the tube will bring it back, they often just run inside and drop it off at my desk rather than wait through the teller line. Some people are embarrassed, some are apologetic, most are indifferent.

And then there was the one last week.

She brought the tube back and it was … in less than pristine condition. Her explanation?

"It was like that when I got it."


This sort of thing has happened before, it usually means someone dropped the tube and drove over it. That also happens with depressing regularity, the tubes are pretty strong and rarely get broken unless they get hit in just the right place.

Safety First!

Once again we venture into the Weird Work Files!

This happened some time ago – I sent the story in to but it has never appeared, so you lucky people get to see it first!

Like most banks, [ghostbank] has safe deposit boxes that operate under the dual control system – each box has two locks, one that an employee has a key for and one the box renter has a key for. The locks that the bank employees have a key for are the same on each box, it is the box renter’s lock that is unique to each box. This is to prevent bank employees from going through your priceless stuff, like those naked pictures of Betty White you keep meaning to get scanned.

Each renter is given two keys when they rent the box and the system is explained to them at that time. If for some reason they lose one of their keys, we can send the other back to the lock manufacturer to have a duplicate made – it’s not something a local locksmith can do. If they lose both keys, the locks have to be drilled out and a new one installed by the company that built the boxes, a lengthy and expensive (around $200 for a lock replacement versus $18 for a key duplication) process.

I always giggle when I see bank heist movies where they drill out a safe deposit box lock in a few seconds – I’ve seen the real thing many times and it’s nothing like that. (Also not depicted in movies – large amounts of cash stink. Bad. It smells like moldy rice and dirty laundry.)

I’m not sure what the policies of other banks are, but at [ghostbank] we do not keep record of what is in a box. Employees are not even allowed to see the contents once the inner box is removed, the renter is shown to a small room and the door is shut to give them privacy. (The only exception is if a member has died and we have to do an inventory of the box for the estate, but that’s a special circumstance and there are several restrictions regarding it that I won’t go into right now.)

One day a man comes in and wants to get into his box. While he is signing in I ask him if he brought his key – it sounds like a stupid question but I’ve have lots of people come in and wait a long time only to discover they don’t have their key, so now I ask.

“No, I need to use yours.”

“I don’t have a safe deposit key, but if you have yours with you one of our representatives can let you in.”

“I don’t have mine, I lost it. I need to use one of the spares you have here.”

I explain to him that we don’t have “spares” and ask him if he has misplaced one key or both of them and explain what would happen if he can’t find both of them. He starts to fidget a bit, hemming and hawing before finally answering the question.

“I know where one is, but I thought I could borrow one of your keys to get to it.”

I suddenly understand what he is trying very hard not to say.

“Sir … Did you put your spare box key in your safe deposit box?” I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped when he nodded, but he had the good sense to flush red as a beet. His defense?

“They told me to put it in a safe place!”

I have never wanted to do an actual headdesk so badly in all my life.

Please Hold …

Yet another entry from the Weird Work Files.

I answer  incoming phone calls at work, among other things, and I’m constantly presented with further proof that people are crazy.

Take this particular caller – let’s call her Crazy Lady – who was trying to contact one of my coirkers who was out of the office for a few days. She called on Monday an we had the following conversation;

Crazy Lady – May I speak to [Coirker]?

Ghostie – I’m sorry, but she’s in class until Monday. If you like, I can take your name and number and give her a message to call you when she gets in then.

Crazy Lady – I’ll hold.

Ghostie – :stunned pause:  She isn’t here. At all. She won’t be back until Monday. Can someone else help you?

Crazy Lady – No, I’ll call back.

You would think that Crazy Lady meant that she would wait until Monday to call back – you would think that, but you would be oh-so very, very wrong.

This call took place on Tuesday and Crazy Lady called back Every. Single. Day.  She would call several times in the same day, often less than an hour apart, trying to reach the same person. I offered to take a message, I offered to find someone else to help her, but each time she just said that she would call back later.

Monday rolls around and coirker is back in her office. No call from Crazy Lady. Tuesday is the same – no call.  She finally calls back on Wednesday and is less than pleased. Coirker later asked me if Crazy Lady had called her during the week before, and I told her exactly what had happened – every time I offered her an alternative, she had opted to call back even though I had told her each time that Coirker wasn’t going to be there. Crazy Lady had complained to great length to Coirker that the “rude boy” who answered the phone had promised her that Coirker would call her back on Monday, even though she had not left her name or number once over the course of the week’s many calls, and –

  1. I am not psychic
  2. I am also not a boy

And after all of that, the only thing Crazy Lady wanted was a copy of her statement mailed to her – something any employee could have done, including me.